Machaut [Machau, Machault], Guillaume de [ Guillelmus de Machaudio ]
- Wulf Arlt
(b Reims or Machault, Champagne, c1300; d Reims, April 1377). French composer and poet.
Machaut is the most important poet and composer of the 14th century, with a lasting history of influence. His unique oeuvre, contained, thanks to the composer’s own efforts, in manuscripts that include only his works, stands in many respects for itself: in terms of its volume, its poetic and compositional formulation and quality, but also in the number of genres in whose development Machaut played a crucial role. In the compilation and ordering of his works as well as in the testimony of the texts themselves there is a wealth of information about Machaut’s self-awareness and about the production of his works and manuscripts. This ranges from general remarks about poetics and other aesthetic concepts to details about the composition of particular pieces, questions about their fixing and transmission in writing and their realization in sound. Biographical details also allow the works to be placed in a social context....